Save on Groceries

 10 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries 

Is it just me, or does it seem like everything at the grocery store is up this year? Especially eggs, butter, grains products, and other staples. According to a CNN news report “Prices for food at home — what people buy at retailers to prepare their own meals — jumped 11.3% in January (2023) from a year earlier, the Labor Department said…” We compare notes with friends and each other to identify ways to save money on our grocery bill. Here are a few ideas, old and new, that may make it easier to save money and feed your family well.

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Plan your meals and make a list based on sales and what’s freshest

Planning meals ahead of time reduces food waste and grocery bills. Prioritize buying healthy foods for meals over snacks and beverages. The internet has so many great sites for recipes that it is easy to figure out what to make with what is on sale. In addition to the recipes we share at, try In addition to endless recipes they offer pre-made menus and an app for your phone. Sweet.

Clip electronic coupons and compare prices 

 Download your grocery store app. While it is especially handy for pickup and delivery orders, it is useful for checking out the weekly sales, comparing prices with other stores, clipping electronic coupons, and ordering ahead. This allows you to plan your grocery shopping before you ever leave home. 

For non-perishables used regularly consider stocking up when on sale consider ordering heavy or bulky items like laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, dishwashing detergent, trash bags, and hand soap from Amazon or other online retailer that offers free shipping and subscription discounts.

Look at the total cost of shopping and consider pickup and delivery services

Trips to the grocery store include gas and time. Our closest store charges an extra 3 percent for picked-up groceries. This is a bargain compared to shopping with children. During the worst of COVID this was the way to go. It seems a small price to pay to save time and avoid impulse buying.

If you or someone else cannot pick up the groceries then look for the best delivery options in your area. Don’t forget that in addition to delivery fees you will need to tip the delivery driver. This can easily add $15 to the grocer order. Delivery is often cheaper than eating out, paying for restaurant delivery, or taking a ride share to and from the store in most cases.

Eat healthier while reducing food costs

Nutritious whole foods are more filling than highly processed foods, and less expensive. Avoid expensive specialty foods that claim they are healthy, such as snack bars and protein shakes. Skip foods that contain artificial sweeteners or added nitrates, such as cured meats. Swapping water in for carbonated soft drinks improves health and saves money. If you don’t like the taste of water at your house, get a water purification dispenser or water filter sink attachment rather than buying bottled water.

Buying in bulk at big-box stores, discount stores, and farmers markets with friends and family

Farmers market hauls can be big. Plan ahead and ask relatives or friends if they would like to share. These discount stores have especially good deals on staples like butter, milk, eggs, cheese, school lunch and sandwich items, and other staples. Buy non-perishables when on sale or lower priced and split with others. 

Try store brands with money back guarantees and check out store discount programs

Store brands are often a good buy, especially when on sale. Our local store now offers a free debit card that gives us 5 percent cash back on store brand items. We especially like the organic store branded items for value and quality. If you don’t like it, take it back with your receipt.  

Another store where we get prescriptions filled offers a discount on gasoline based on the amount spent in the store. Check out the programs at your local stores.

Return food that does not meet your quality standards

No one likes to find mold in the new carton of strawberries or an off odor in the chicken. Items hastily picked for pick-up or delivery may be spoiled, out of date, or the wrong item. If the order was a pick-up or delivery, contact customer service and see if they will credit the item without having to take the product back to the store. If you bought it in store, make sure you keep your receipt so you can return it.

Make Do with what you have on hand

Budget for dining out

If your family likes to eat out, designate one lunch or night out a week and set a budget. Some restaurants, even upscale ones, have less expensive lunches than dinners. Reduce your bill by drinking water only with the meal. Share large entrees, and split appetizers and desserts if ordered. Some restaurants allow seniors to order off the lunch specials all day, have senior specials, or allow seniors to order from the kid’s meal. Just ask. 

Final thought

If you’d like to help those who are food insecure, donate to your local food pantry or Feeding America.

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